Game Grades: Penn State vs Ohio State
Penn State suffered its 15th loss of the season on Thursday night, as Big Ten foe Ohio State was able to squeeze by the Nittany Lions in what was a hard fought battle.
The Buckeyes’ Kyle Young scored the go-ahead basket with just over a minute remaining as Ohio State held off Penn State, 74-70. The Nittany Lions dropped to 1-11 in conference play, whereas the Buckeyes are now sitting in eighth place at 5-6.
Let’s take a look at some game grades for Pat Chambers’ Nittany Lions:
Although Penn State was able to score a respectable 70 points in a hostile environment, they could have done a better job with spreading the wealth.
Only Lamar Stevens (20 points), Josh Reaves (20 points) and Rasir Bolton (15 points) were able to score in double figures, thus making the Nittany Lions somewhat predictable down the stretch of this contest. Not to mention, Penn State continued to struggle from the 3-point line, as they converted on only four of their 14 3-point attempts (28.4 percent).
With just under 11 minutes left in the first half, Kaleb Wesson hit a straight-away three to put the Buckeyes up 23-9. Fortunately, Penn State was able to tighten up its defense and cut the lead to just three heading into halftime. Penn State ended up holding Ohio State to just under its season average of 73 points per game.
From an analytical perspective, the Buckeyes were able to take (and make) shots at an impressive rate of 50 percent, from both the field and 3-point range. However, Penn State was able to create deflections and put pressure on Ohio State’s guards, thus forcing them into 18 turnovers.
Head coach Pat Chambers did a commendable job of making defensive adjustments at halftime. At the start of the second half, Penn State went to a 2-3 zone, which disrupted Ohio State’s continuity on the offensive end.
Much of the second half saw the Nittany Lions employ a three-quarter court press. This forced the Buckeyes to waste about 10 seconds of the shot clock getting the ball up the floor, leaving them with a scarce amount of time to move the ball around the zone in order to find quality looks.
On the offensive end, however, Penn State failed to move the ball in an efficient manner. As the game winded down, it seemed as if Penn State was playing three on five on offense, with Stevens, Bolton and Reaves being the only real scoring options for Chambers.
The failure to get other teammates, such as Mike Watkins and Jamari Wheeler, involved ultimately costed the Nittany Lions in the end.
Pasquale Tartaro is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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